“Are you sure?” Morgana asked, the smallest of frowns denting her forehead as she sat herself upon the windowsill, watching as Arthur paced his chambers back and forth. He was quiet for a long, thoughtful moment.
“I didn't see him do it, if that's what you're asking me?” He said, a frown furrowing his own brow.
“Then why would you think-,” she began, but Arthur was swift to interrupt her, pausing to scowl in her direction before resuming his pacing once more.
“I just do!” His tone was snappy and Morgana lifted one delicate- and rather unimpressed- eyebrow in response to it. Arthur waved his hand and grunted in what she assumed was some vague attempt at an apology.
“Before the fight began,” he started, deigning to explain himself, “he was on the verge of telling me something. He asked me not to think any different of him no matter what happened. I thought he was speaking of his poor swordsmanship but the more I think on it, the more I think he was about to tell me he's a sorcerer.”
“And if he is?” Morgana asked slowly and Arthur stopped pacing and turned to look at her, a conflicted expression twisting his face.
“I don't know.” He answered, honestly.
“Why not?” Morgana stood gracefully and smoothed down her dress. Arthur stared at her.
“Why don't you know?” She pressed, “It's surely not that hard a question?”
Arthur threw her a disgusted look, “are you even listening to me?” he snapped, “I'm telling you I think Merlin's a sorcerer and you're asking me- what the hell are you asking me?”
“The way I see it,” Morgana began, “you have two choices. If Merlin is a sorcerer, either you tell your father, or you don't.”
Arthur shook his head, disbelief colouring his next words, “It's not that easy, Morgana!”
“Yes, it is.” She replied as if it really were that simple, “Though I'd recommend not speaking to Uther until you're certain. You know how execution-happy he can be when confronted with the mere mention of magic.”
Arthur stepped over towards the table pulled out a chair, before slumping himself down into it.
“It's magic, Morgana. All our lives we've been brought up to fear it, we've been taught that it is the source of all evil, that it must be quashed at all costs.”
“Yes,” she agreed, “we have. But do you really believe that all magic is bad?” Arthur just looked at her. Morgana sighed dramatically. “Do you believe that Merlin could be that bad?”
“Yes.” Was his immediate response to that. Morgana shot him her most disgusted look and Arthur felt himself slumping even further under the weight of it.
“No?” he tried before shaking his head, “I- I don't know.” He sighed, dropping his head into his hands with an aggravated sound. Morgana stepped towards him, running a hand fondly through his mop of blond hair in an attempt to soothe him.
“Yes you do,” she said, and Arthur could tell she was smiling that small all-knowing smile of hers.
“Yes,” Arthur agreed, breathing out the word as though he didn’t dare admit it even to himself. “What do I do?”
Morgana laughed a little, “I don't have the answers, Arthur,” she said.
“What would you do?” Arthur looked up, turning his head to look at her.
Morgana withdrew her hand, perching herself upon the edge of the table beside him.
“I'm rather fond of him, personally,” she said, holding his gaze, “he's never done anything wicked that I know of. He's always been around to help us whenever we needed him to- even when we haven't asked. I don't think he's got a bad bone in his body. But maybe I'm wrong. What do I know about magic? I just… I don't think Merlin has any nefarious purposes here, Arthur. I honestly believe that he only wants to help, in whatever way he can.”
“You'd keep the magic secret?” Arthur asked once she stopped speaking.
She shrugged slightly, “I think you owe it to Merlin to at least speak to him about this before you go signing his death warrant.”
Arthur caught Morgana's hand and brought it to his lips, pressing a gentle kiss to her fingers. “Thank you,” he breathed and she smiled, tugging her hand free.
“No need to thank me,” she laughed and ruffled at his hair. Arthur scowled, pulling back from her but making no move to swat her away.
“I'll speak to, Merlin,” he said, a definitive tone to his voice.
Morgana smiled, “That’s all I ask.”
[ end. ]
[ written as part of Caspe-Wri-Mo ]